CEU stuns defending champion La Salle

By Ivan Saldajeno

SAN JUAN, MM—Reigning NAASCU champion CEU continues its hot run in the FilOil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup after walloping defending tournament winner La Salle, 93-78, at the FilOil Flying V Arena on Saturday night.

The Scorpions bucked off a slow start and rode on the hot hands of J.K. Casiño in the fourth quarter to pull away.

Jason Perkins waxed hot early on for the Green Archers by making three triples to spark a 10-0 start. They would hold on to the double-digit lead for most of the first half.

But behind Rodrigue Ebondo, the Scorpions slowly crawled back and cut the lead to one, 37-36, at halftime.

La Salle opened the third quarter on a 7-2 run to momentarily stretch its lead to six, 44-38.

CEU recovered and took the lead for good later in the period, even stretching it to double digits before settling for an eight-point cushion, 65-57, at the half-hour mark.

Casiño, who was scoreless in the first three quarters, took over in the final quarter, scoring all of his 17 points in the last ten minutes to help the Scorpions lead by as much as 17. They held on to the huge lead until the end.

Aaron Jeruta led CEU, now at 6-1, with 19 points, two rebounds, and four assists, while Ebondo finished with 15 points, 17 rebounds, two assists, and four blocks.

Perkins had 19 points and five rebounds, while Prince Rivero added 12 points and eight rebounds for La Salle, which dropped to 5-2.

Box Scores:

CEU 93-Jeruta 19, Casiño 17, Ebondo 15, R. De Leon 13, Batino 8, Abundo 7, Vargas 6, Celso 4, Anunciacion 2, Pagkatipunan 2, Opiso 0, K. De Leon 0

La Salle 78-Perkins 19, Rivero 12, Tratter 11, Torres 8, Teng 8, Gob 6, Caracut 5, Go 4, Van Opstal 3, Navarro 2

Quarterscores: 16-23, 36-37, 65-57, 93-78